Cigarette Tax Hike 

A coalition of health groups is calling for a tax increase of one dollar on the already two dollar tax on cigarettes.

The money would help fund Dirigo and other public health programs.

The American Lung and Heart Associations support the effort and say many Mainers do too.

A survey of 400 maine voters in March concluded 76 percent were in favor of the tax hike. Supporters say it’s an effective way to get folks to quit smoking and save millions upon millions in medical costs.

The proposal comes up as lawmakers consider a bill to boost Maine’s Dirigo Health Insurance Program.

That measure calls for a 50-cent per pack increase in the tax on cigarettes.